Press release
May 4, 2018

2018 Award Recipients Announced at the Foundation’s May 2 Community Luncheon

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem Foundation hosted its annual Community Luncheon on May 2 with a sold-out crowd of over 1,200 community members in attendance. The Foundation announced the recipients of the 2018 Winston-Salem Foundation Award and the 2018 ECHO Awards as follows:

2018 Winston-Salem Foundation Award: Retired Police Chief Barry Rountree

2018 ECHO Awards:

  • Shereen Abdelfattah
  • Hospice & Palliative CareCenter Veterans Outreach
  • Rebecca Williams and Amatullah Saleem
  • Venture Café

The keynote speaker was Dr. Gregory C. Ellison II, co-founder of Fearless Dialogues and author of the recently-released book Fearless Dialogues: A New Movement for Justice. Fearless Dialogues creates unique spaces for hard, heartfelt conversations that change the way people see themselves and the world around them - helping communities move forward together. At the luncheon, Greg and his teammates facilitated an interactive program designed to help us "fear less" and to see the unseen in our community.

Additional Information on Award Recipients

The Winston-Salem Foundation Award

This award was established in 1996 and is presented annually to individuals who demonstrate the Foundation’s values of generosity, excellence, inclusion, and integrity along with visionary leadership in a community activity or on behalf of a community organization, particularly in the recent past.  

Retired Police Chief Barry Rountree is a visionary leader, dedicating his life to both law enforcement and relationship-building. As police chief, he increased staff diversity and cultivated partnerships and trust between the Winston-Salem Police Department and individuals and community organizations. He expanded the Trust Talk program in conjunction with the City of Winston-Salem Human Relations Department. And he founded and still serves on the board of the Winston-Salem Police Foundation, which is dedicated to enhancing the capacity of the police department to be more effective in improving public safety - by funding tools, training, technology, equipment and community outreach initiatives that might otherwise go unfunded. The police foundation forges partnerships not only within the department but also out in the community, including athletic leagues, mentoring programs, and public safety events - strengthening relationships, young and old, in our community in so many ways. With this very well-deserved recognition comes a $10,000 Foundation grant which Barry designated to two organizations – the Winston-Salem Police Foundation and the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church Scholarship Fund.  

2018 ECHO Awards

The Foundation also presented the 2018 ECHO Awards to community members who are creatively building social capital. Each recipient is uniquely connecting and building trust among people in order to make our community stronger and each received $1,000 to grant to a nonprofit organization of their choice.

Shereen Abdelfattah: Shereen is a social entrepreneur, and according to her nominator, “one of our community’s unsung leaders.” She founded a nonprofit catering company to provide jobs for Syrian refugee women, helping them feel more included in their new community. Shereen also leads an Interfaith Winston-Salem team made up of Jews, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and others, and she was instrumental in organizing Women of Worship, which brings together women of multiple faiths to break barriers and build friendships. Shereen, who emigrated from Egypt in 2002, actively seeks to create environments where food can be a bridge-builder, where diversity is welcomed, and where everyone feels valued for the differences they bring to our community.

Hospice & Palliative CareCenter Veterans Outreach: Hospice’s We Honor Veterans program has not only enhanced their direct care of veterans, but the outreach component brings together a community of veterans who have come to treasure one another. Their Veterans Coffees create space for veterans to meet, share stories, and learn about helpful community resources. As guests form friendships, lines of communication are opened—sometimes for the first time—as veterans share their personal experiences with each other. These gatherings attract hundreds of veterans, spanning lines of age, race, gender, and socioeconomic status, including those who served in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and recent campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is a solid feeling of camaraderie among all who attend.

Rebecca Williams and Amatullah Saleem: Rebecca and Amatullah are the founders of Happy Hill Arts, a collaboration between the Happy Hill Neighborhood Association and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. The program engages neighborhood children in diverse arts experiences including dance, drumming, and photography, instilling a sense of community pride while also supporting their academic success. The program encourages relationship-building among the neighborhood children and their parents, and it has also built connections among Happy Hill residents and UNCSA faculty, students, and alumni, helping to cross the invisible boundary that has separated the neighborhood from the University since it opened in 1965.

Venture Café: With a mission of “connecting innovators to make things happen,” Venture Café hosts weekly Thursday Gatherings at Bailey Power Plant which can draw crowds exceeding 150 students, CEOs, artists, inventors, scientists, and entrepreneurs. The Gatherings are among the most diverse in the Triad and serve as a platform to create connections that will build a more resilient and inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship community. By connecting innovators and entrepreneurs to each other and to valuable resources, Venture Café seeks to make our community a more resilient place where all business ventures can thrive.